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State helps union build new South Philly hall

$6 million training center for stagehands' union

Philadelphia's Local 8 of the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees says it's planning a $6 million Education and Training Center, to be constructed with $2.5 million in state aid, later this year behind Tony Luke's at 2401 South Swanson St. (at Wolf St.) in South Philadelphia.

In a statement Local 8 leader and IATSE international vice president Michael Barnes put out through union spokesman Frank Keel, the stagehands say the new shop will "train union stagehand workers for legitimate stage productions, orchestral ensembles, opera and ballet performances, rock and roll concerts, audio-visual Convention Center training, film and television training, and even wardrobe, hair, and make-up training," plus safety courses. It will also plug into the PA state college system, so theater majors can take courses at the union hall.

"The new 11,000-square foot training facility will be built on a 45,000 square foot lot and includes one of the largest 'green roofs' in Philadelphia."